Full Frontal - Pedals?

I just completed the 4DP test for the first time and got the test results. Now thinking how best to improve these metrics and understanding if they were accurate in the first place. I was wasted at the end, especially after the AC and MAP, so I’m confident the metrics were good (even if not great yet!), but would have been better to use clipless pedals?
the numbers seems relatively low.

What kind of pedals do typical riders use with the 4DP test? I expect to continue using flat pedals, but should I consider retesting with the clipless pedals? I assume it isn’t useful to compare the two test results if I do.

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If you plan on using flats, use flats to test.
Pointless generating numbers that don’t represent the use case.

You might get slightly better numbers with clipless (you might not), but they won’t be hugely different and any differences that are caused through the use of pedals you won’t be using to train with are counter-productive anyway.

Don’t worry about “relatively low” numbers, the testing protocol is more thorough than elsewhere anyway and numbers mean nothing outside setting training levels anyway, really.
Get into a plan and see how you go.


There’s no such things as relatively low, it’s just a marker for you, and only you. If you destroyed yourself then chances are you did it right. Now you’re set for sometruly glorious Suffering.


If you were ‘wasted at the end’ you did the test right. As to the numbers you got, they are yours and yours alone. Don’t compare them to nobody but you. What you are looking for is improvement in those numbers.
As to testing, if you are going to be riding flat pedals, test with flat pedals. You might find that Elements of Style was written for those using clipless pedals, but there are gains to be made by maintaining pressure all around the pedal stroke.

@maxkev I agree with everything said. Just wondering: if you have clipless pedals and shoes/cleats to go with, why are you training on flat pedals?

Speaking personally, I haven’t ridden a flat pedal for over 20 years.

Thanks for the responses everyone. @AkaPete I don’t have cleats/clipless pedals yet, just flats, which I still prefer at this point. Looking forward to converting down the road!

I got confused by your comment above.

It’s not a trivial investment (you need shoes, cleats and pedals), but I think it makes cycling a lot more comfortable. If you have a friend with the same size feet and neither of you is grossed out by the idea of your wearing his shoes for a little while, you could try them out.

It will be less of an adventure on a trainer than outside. My first ride with clipless pedals included stopping at a pedestrian crossing, forgetting to unclip as I slowed down, and falling over sideways (while at a deadstop) in front of 50 strangers. Everyone I know had a similar experience, but usually with a smaller audience. You learn to unclip automatically after a couple of those.


A rite of passage for clipless pedals. :+1:


…to go along with the chain ring tattoo on your calf. :grimacing:


you will also want to play around with cleat alignment, fore and aft position, left - right position, to dial in the perfect set up.

Watch your knees! Wrong cleat adjustment can destroy them!

I’ve used Speedplay pedals for 20 years. While better adjustment makes them more comfortable, they are much more forgiving on the knees than most due to the high float.

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At 76 i don’t want to invest in new pedals on top of the wahoo kicker bike I ordered😜


@Polecat13 Because of expected useful life (of the user in this case)? If you suffer well enough, you might live forever!!!

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I’ve tried the Speedplay pedals to, 1 winter. Really not my thing.
Knees hurt more (tried every adjustment), sprinting felt unsure (clipped out once mid-sprint), walking is horrible, expensive

I went back to SPD-SL, really love them (with the blue cleats, ideal for sprinting)

Used Look Keo before, they just work too but wear-out very fast (the cleats) and they creak (reason I got rid of them)

The brand new speedplays are better for walking—but I hear you, they’re not for everyone.

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